Is your home being overtaken by toy clutter? Creating a toy library is the perfect plan to take back your control. Follow along as I show you how to start a toy rotation and storage system in 6 simple steps.
Be Clutter Free! How to set up a Toy Rotation and Storage System
As moms we all share two common fantasies:
- A clean house
- Kids who are happy all the time
Unfortunately, most of us start out as new parents preventing these two dreams from ever becoming a reality.
So, what do we do to sabotage ourselves?
We buy our kids a ton of toys.
It starts when we find out we are pregnant, then rolls right into the baby shower, followed by the holidays and their 1st birthday.
Suddenly, your entire house is full of toys. No matter what you do, there is always stuff everywhere.
You feel stressed out looking around your house, and become borderline OCD about keeping bedroom doors closed.
Even your Pinterest searches are focused on toy storage and organization ideas.
To make it even worse, the impact of toy clutter reaches far beyond having a messy house.
In my last post I shared why too many toys aren’t good for you or your children.
If your child is easily frustrated or has struggles to play independently too many toys may be the problem; and a toy rotation system is the perfect solution!
How to Set Up a Toy Rotation
1. Get rid of the garbage
Quickly go through their toys and toss anything that is broken or can no longer be used. Puzzles and games with missing pieces, markers without lids and anything that can’t be fixed.
2. Time for a quick purge
Now that the only things left are items that are actually usable, notice if there are any toys they no longer play with. These should be put in a bin to donate or sell. This is also the perfect time to get rid of anything that isn’t developmentally appropriate.Now is also a good time to ask for your child’s input. Learning basics of how to declutter and minimalism will be helpful skills throughout their lifetime.
A great way to start is to ask them to choose a number of toys to donate, based on their age. So, you would ask your 5 year old, “Can you find five of your toys that you would like to give to another child who doesn’t have any toys?” This teaches them about giving to others and also allows them to practice prioritizing their belongings.
Pssst! Hey mama – now is also the perfect time to sneak any toys that drive you crazy into the donation bin!
3. Sort the remaining toys into categories
This is another great time for your kiddos to get in on the process and learn how to set up a toy rotation.In this step you will work together to sort the toys into similar groups. Here are some possible grouping ideas:
- Toy purpose: Sort toys into groups of moving toys, pretending toys and thinking toys.
- Primary educational goal: Building toys, art supplies, dramatic play etc.
- Toy type: Books, Blocks, Dolls, Cars, Puzzles etc.
This is a great point to get the kiddos involved.
Once the toys are sorted into categories allow the children to select a set number from each category. The number will vary depending on the number of children you have and their ages.
Simply say, “Please choose your 5 favorite cars.” This is a great way to to teach children about priorities and values early on.
When you follow this process you are able to get a good idea about what each child is drawn to. Which also helps you when you choose toys in the future.
This also helps you avoid keeping more toys than you need to. If none of your children put a certain toy in their “top 5” then there is no reason to keep it.
4. Create your toy bins
You can decide how many bins you want to set up to start your toy rotation. This will depend on
- the number of children you have
- the age(s) of your kiddos
- how many toys they have
I suggest starting with about 4-6 bins, but the number could be higher or lower depending on your needs.
Start placing toys from one category into each of the bins, and continue this process until all of the toys have been divvied up. For example, if you have 8 dolls and you are creating 4 toy rotation bins, then each bin will only have 2 dolls.
5. Start rotating the toys
You will select one of the bins of toys that will stay for use immediately.
These toys should be set on display and easily accessible. This allows them to easily see what they have to play with and where it should be returned when they finish.Woot-woot! Who knew toy rotation would help them to keep their room clean?
All of the other bins you have created should be placed out of sight and reach of your children. A closet is ok, but a garage or basement is even better. Just be sure that you have easy access because they won’t be in storage forever.
You can decide ahead of time to rotate the toys according to a weekly or monthly schedule. In our home I simply watch and notice when my kiddos are ready to have some new experiences, or when they start asking to buy toys.
6. Create excitement and anticipation when it’s time to rotate the toys
Children love the feeling that something exciting is about to happen. That is why the holidays are such a magical time.You can easily create that same magical feeling when you start a toy rotation. Count down the days, have the new toys set out in the morning when they wake up, make a special snack or treat on toy rotation days.
Voila’ it’s like a free Christmas morning anytime of the year!
There you have it mama! 5 Simple Steps to plan and organize your own system for toy rotation and storage!
- How to Declutter when your Kids want to Keep every Toy
- 10 Crazy Simple Minimalist Tips for a Clutter Free Home
- 10 Moms Share their Best Tips for Decluttering with Kids